"With most systems, typically you get seams where the forms butt up together where they adjoin," explains Lowe. "We have a patented removable keystone that bridges the gap on each seam. It makes our walls more realistic because you can't really spot the seams. Every set of liners comes with keystones.
"Every pattern we have here was a custom pattern at one time," says Lowe. "The Sedona pattern, which is the most popular, was created for a project in Arizona's Sedona Valley. They sent us some boulders and some stones and we duplicated the texture and shape. It's very realistic looking."
Brick-embedded concrete walls
For clients desiring real brick exteriors with tilt-up or precast concrete wall prices and efficiency, Scott System, Inc. offers a brick inlay system. The company makes three types of formliners used for integrally casting brick into concrete. Workers need no special training to insert 1/2-in. thick bricks into these liners. "Casting brick into concrete is fast, economical and beautiful," explains Dana Scott of Scott System. "When the wall goes up, the brick is already in place. Scaffolding, flashing, lintels and weep cavities are eliminated also."
Made of urethane elastomer, the Brick Gasket Liner comes in a 4-ft. by 8-ft. standard size and custom sizes. Thin bricks are placed into the liner pockets and concrete is poured over the back of the assembly, integrally casting the brick tiles into the concrete. The BGL is guaranteed for 100 uses and lasts longer with proper care. "This is a good alternative for repetitive precast spandrels," says Scott.
Brick Snaps are a single-use product made of polystyrene. They can be assembled in a variety of patterns and can accommodate four different brick sizes. This is a single-use template system for precast or tilt-up applications. A similar product, the Block Snaps, is used for integral casting of 8-in. by 16-in. thin block.
Scott System's newest product, Rim Snaps, are for casting brick vertically, typically in columns, climbing forms and other poured-in-place applications. This product can be reused.
The Scott System templates strip off quickly, but the bricks stay put. "Pull out tests show that the brick itself will shear, but not 'fall out' or 'pull out' of concrete, at 3,000 psi," Scott notes. "The bond is permanent." The finished panels should be washed using high pressure hot water.
Design Pro makes forms that let concrete contractors make their own landscape, V-interlock and knob-style blocks. These large blocks are used for landscaped parking lots, privacy walls and product divider walls at concrete plants. The forms are made of "10-gauge steel with a formed channel running around the outside edge," notes Dan Stocke of Design Pro. They last indefinitely unless they are hit by a hard object or run over. Each form can be used to make two blocks per day by pouring one in the morning and then stripping off the form before pouring another block in the afternoon. The clamps on the corners are used as levers to strip the form.
"All of our forms are created so that you pour face down," Stocke points out. "They are made of two L-shaped halves that clamp together in the corner, so whatever you're pouring them on is going to be the face. Many people pour on top of a cement slab to get a smooth surface." Because decorative faces have become so popular, they manufacture urethane mats in 10 stone patterns. These mats are placed in the bottom of the form to create a patterned finish on the block's face. Custom mats are also available.
"These are wet cast blocks," Stocke points out. "Blocks at supply stores are dry cast and they are quite brittle. If you hit one of our walls with a truck, it's not going anywhere, although it might be chipped. Our blocks are much more massive than what you find elsewhere."
Each landscape block form uses 16 cu. ft. of concrete to make a 2-ft. by 2-ft. by 4-ft. block that weighs 2,400 lbs. They have tapered side walls so they can form a curved wall. Design Pro's newest product is a mid-sized landscape block form. It makes four 1-ft. high by 2-ft. wide by 2-ft. deep blocks at once that each weigh 560 lbs. These smaller blocks look better in residential settings and can be lifted with a small skid steer.